Flex Daily First Watering more than two weeks later?

Hello community,

I’m a new homeowner so I have no experience watering a lawn. The previous owner has a Rachio installed and was watering on a fixed schedule three times daily which seemed excessive.

I wanted to use the flex daily scheduling, but the first time it’s scheduled to run is more than two weeks from today. Why is it so late?

Thank you!

Going to have to know a lot more about your setup to dive into it, but with the time of year, I don’t think that is too far off. Mine is pushing about 2 weeks between waterings, and we are still in the mid to upper 80’s right now.

That being said, if the previous owner was watering everyday, multiple times a day, the roots of your plants are likely very shallow, and will suffer if you leave the flex daily alone. We can do some tweaks with root depth and crop coefficient to force Rachio to water more frequently, and slowly build that root structure up to go deeper for water.

Can you post screenshots of your basic and advanced settings, along with a rundown of your equipment (drip emitter size, quantity per plant).

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Thanks @tmcgahey for the response! For some context, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (East Side).

It seems that all of the advanced settings are the same. I’ll look around, but I don’t really know how to check equipment information… Really new to this.

Ok, first off…

With previous watering, no way your root depth is 9". I’d bump that up for each zone to 4" to start. This will cause it to water more frequently.

You have a couple different types of soil in your zones. A couple are set as clay, the other as loam. Did you follow the “Web Soil Survey” to find your soil type? It might be, but in would never guess the Bay area to be clay…

Donyou happen to know what type/brand of sprinkler nozzle you actually have? If you can take a close up picture, we might be able to tell.

  1. Set down to 4" and I already see more watering dates on the calendar. I really think that the previous owners just didn’t program this Rachio correctly. They had 3 fixed schedules using 6400 gallons in 9 days and all of the zones set to 9". Perhaps the zones were just set to default settings?
  2. I have not tried the “Web Soil Survey” I will try that tomorrow to make it more accurate.
  3. No idea what kind of type/brand of sprinkler nozzle. They are all Fixed Spray heads though. I will take a picture in the morning when there’s more light.

Based on the watering practice of the previous owner, I’m still not convinced that will be enough frequency. Watering everyday, multiple times a day is ludacris unless you are planting new seed. Your grass is accustomed to those frequent waterings and we will need to wean the grass off it’s daily waterings…

Good to know… Here’s the photos from the sprinklers.

I do have another issue now though… I tried doing a quick run and nothing happened. I ran it twice, Rachio said that it ran for 9 minutes each time, but I didn’t see any watering happening. To make matters more confusing, when I went out to the yard this morning, it did seem like the yard was watered even though Rachio did not notify me, nor was it scheduled since I deleted the previous owner’s old schedule. Should I set this back to factory settings?

The last photo shows wet ground where I don’t have a sprinkler visible. Is this a potential leak? I thought that Rachio is meant to notify you if there are any leaks.

Thanks for all the help… Homeownership has proven to be overwhelming with everything I have to learn.

Looks like you have a little mix of nozzles, but I see a lot that look like Rainbird U-Series nozzles. Based on that, I think you should bump the Inches per Hour setting in the advanced settings to something closer to 1.6". You have it set to 1.5", which I think is default, but you might be putting down a bit more than that…


As for the last picture, is there possibly a drip system for the trees as well? Rachio 3 with flow meter can notify of a leak, but only if it was calibrated before the leak started.

Good to know. I’ll go ahead and up that setting.

Any insight on why the quick run feature did not work and why it appeared that the sprinklers did run despite not being on schedule and not giving me a notification?

Also I just found that all those thousands of gallons went to that single zone. The other zones did not have excessive water used. Not sure how that happened.

I guess you haven’t mentioned what generation of Rachio you have, but either way, the usage you are seeing is based solely off the PR (Inches per Hour) and Area settings, and honestly, don’t mean a whole lot unless you have them absolutely dialed in. But, there was obviously something different that happened on 11/4 to see that spike, while all the other days are really low run times.

Yeah… very strange. I have a generation 2 FWIW.

@tmcgahey Any thoughts on why hitting quick run doesn’t do anything and why it still seems to run on its own?

UPDATE: I figured one important detail out. I dug through some documentation that the previous owner left and found out that the front yard is the only yard supposedly controlled by Rachio. The backyard (the healthy looking one) is the one that is on a conventional timer.

So now I need to learn how to use that thing. The trouble is, the front yard still doesn’t appear to be manually controlled when I do a quick run even though the app says it’s running and that water was used.

It is also weird to me that all three of my zones are just the front yard. My front yard does seem rather small. But it’s not like I know any better.

I’d work on getting all the sprinklers connected to the rachio and getting rid of the orbit.

Don’t fret to much, it will take a little time but you will get it all working right and once you do you’ll be able to forget about wondering if your yard is getting watered right.

Just wondering by any chance you have the Costco 12 station?

I also agree with Inkahauts,simply wire the rear valves to the Rachio.
It was a bit of work for me going through the attic/through our media area/then under the house but it’s all hidden and clean.

I’m finding my newly installed Gen3/16 is really in need of tweaking settings because it’s over watering.
Your thread has helped me.

Thank you!

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’m slowly working on getting them all connected to Rachio. Hopefully I won’t run into too many issues.

@Ocitown I’m not sure where it was from, it came with the house. It has 8 sprinkler stations and 4 sensor stations if that’s what you’re asking.